Thursday, December 12, 2013

Searching for Christmas Spirit


I don’t particularly love the television Christmas classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My inner desire for orderly conduct makes me want to scream as I watch the mean, heartless Grinch take away all the Whoville food, presents and decorations. In an effort to surround myself with happier thoughts and Christmas cheer, I tend to avoid the show altogether. But there is no avoiding the book when my kids want me to read it to them. Every year my words dance along with the repetition and rhyme of one of Dr. Seuss’ most well-known creations. Somehow it is easier to read than to watch on TV. And every year, when I turn to that page where the Grinch finally realizes that he can’t actually ruin the Who’s Christmas, my eyes fill with tears and I remember why this story is so remarkable.

I regretfully admit that I had a lapse in judgment last week. I forgot to remember all of the things that help me get through this military life. I forgot to remember the words of wisdom which I promote right here on this blog in an effort to help other military wives get through their challenges. I forgot to remember that I, ultimately, am not the one who knows what’s best for me.  And because I forgot to remember, some unexpected car trouble an extension to my husband’s trip caused me to have a negative outlook. I became sad, angry, tense, and convinced myself that the outcome of it all would be a worst-case scenario. Needless to say my Christmas spirit was nowhere in sight.

A few days later I realized how foolish I had been. What I couldn’t see in the days prior was that everything that was happening was actually for the better. Because I listened to my intuition, the car trouble ended up being very minor compared to what it could have been had I not listened to it. Because my husband’s trip was extended, he gets to spend more time at home this week. And because of a winter storm, we were able to have an unexpected day together as a family with no school and no work.

Looking back, I am so grateful for how things worked out. I am humbled and amazed by how I really don’t know what’s best for me. I now see what I thought were bad circumstances were actually blessings. And I thank God for helping me push through the fog so that I could see the light at the end.

The most amazing part of this story is that no sooner had I changed my attitude from one of negativity to one of humbleness and gratitude did the spirit of Christmas fill my heart. It wrapped its warm essence around me like a big hug and assured me that everything would be okay. That day I baked cookies while I listened to my favorite Christmas music and the kids played outside in the snow. I stared out the window watching the flakes fall gently to the ground, smiling at how Heaven seemed to know exactly what I needed.

Christmas surely cannot be found at a store. It’s found right there in your heart. It’s the memories of Christmases past. It’s the way you feel when you hear those familiar songs. It’s spending time with the people you love. It’s having a grateful heart no matter what circumstances may arise. It’s believing in the Guardian Angel who watches over you. And it’s believing that it is not you, but He, who knows what’s best for you, even if you can’t yet see it.

This year, may your heart be filled with Christmas spirit in all circumstances, and may you be surrounded by the ones you love at Christmas and always.